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  #1  
Old 01-30-2014, 11:19 AM
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Default CARE vs. EDUCATION

The "stars" thread got me thinking...

We often have debates on here regarding care for young children vs. education for young children. Often these debates get boiled down to those providers with degrees or a lot of coursework in early childhood education to support “education” while those providers who have come into the field through other channels to support “care.” (I know there are exceptions to this…read on because that really isn’t the point, just a note I am making). This debate gets discussed in all kinds of ways, even in how we refer to ourselves (teacher, baby-sitter, provider, etc.)

I personally chose this career at as a teenager. I was lucky enough to get my Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. I student taught at our college’s lab preschool, did many field placements, and worked at centers and Head Start before becoming licensed as a provider 6 years ago. I am a member of my local child care RR and the NAEYC. I read studies and journal articles often. Some of my favorite authors are John Holt and Vivian Gussin Paley. I get very upset when this field is portrayed in a negative light and even more upset when a fellow provider does something to bring this on the profession. I am all about professionalizing the field and promoting high-quality child care.

However, in our quest to defend family child care, I think we often divide exactly where we should be coming together. In all of my years of schooling under experts in the field of early childhood I have to say that one of the most important things I learned (possibly THE most important) is that high quality child care is education.

Read that line again...high quality child care is, in itself, education. Early childhood educations is not some mysterious thing that can only be carried out by some special individuals. It is NOT worksheets and crafts and themes. It isn’t even activities and field trips and carefully selected toys. It is CARE. Children grow and learn and prosper (and thus become ready not just for Kindergarten but for LIFE) through high quality care. It is holding a baby while giving her a bottle. “Wow, you are hungry!” you say as the baby gulps down her milk. It is changing a fussy toddlers diaper and engaging him in conversation so he is more cooperative. It is a lot of hand-washing (some sing a song, some pretend their hands are animals, some do an assembly line - either way the child learns how, and when, and why to wash). It is making sure every child is safe and healthy. It is feeding healthy foods. It is proper, age appropriate -discipline (which is part of being safe and healthy). It is Derek learning empathy when Katie falls and scrapes her knee and you comfort her with hugs and soothing words. Next time someone falls down Derek is the first one to ask if he is ok and helping him up. It is honoring each child’s family and home and knowing that no matter what those are the people most special to him. It is watching them play with lots of open ended toys and their language and imaginations blossom and fly. It is a provider witting with four or six kids on a rainy afternoon and watching Mary Poppins (gasp!). It is baking cookies together on Sam’s birthday (or just because). It is the nursery rhymes and lullabyes that our moms and grandma’s taught us. It is loving hands, warm hearts, and positive attention and supervision at the right times.


?????What??? What about curriculum? What about planning activities? What about XY&Z? What about it? Curriculum is fine….but what are the goals? Are the goals that the child will be a curious, imaginative, eager, life-long learner with positive social skills? Yes? Ok great! Or are the goals to learn shapes, colors, letters, and counting? Boo. News flash to all….kids will learn all of that through high quality care! You don’t need worksheets or letter of the week or to verbally quiz them during free play (“What color is your block?). Activities are great if they are meaningful and not contrived (and optional for the child). Planning a week-long study on bears just because you know a bear-song and there are some really cute bear crafts on pinterest?...boo again.

As we continue our day, let’s keep this in mind. We, daycare providers, child care providers, and baby-sitters, lets agree on this one thing. Let’s agree to care for the little ones and let everything else fall into place.
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2014, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Leanna View Post
The "stars" thread got me thinking...



News flash to all….kids will learn all of that through high quality care!
I agree with this statement whole-heartedly. I have talked to providers whom feel like providers here have been brainwashed by QRIS-thinking and need to be de-programmed. Providers here are so worried about counting materials, having group time/not having group time, whether or not the assessment sees an example of something being talked about between provider/child,.....where does it end and how do we get back to where we were?

I enjoyed your post!
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:46 AM
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Well said!
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:47 AM
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I also enjoyed that and for the most part agree.
However, I have also used curriculum when it is needed. Again, we can't place all these little square/circle/triangular pegs into those single shaped holes.
The only thing I would add that we need to be doing is adapting to the children's needs as well.
Right now we do a "letter of the week" because I have a little girl who will be going into K next year, who needed a light review, and it makes her feel like she is in "big girl school" like her older sisters to have "work" she does here. Now we are talking optional one worksheet a day and maybe a craft once a week, but she LOVES this stuff and spends a LOT of her time every day writing our letter or drawing out the "number" or playing school with the youngers based on our poster.
The rest of the kids get "what is on our poster" for five minutes a couple of times a day and we talk about the weather, and what day it is today.

I often think of these kids as my own (though now it is more like grand children.) They come, they go, they play, they help work, they just be. Sometimes we do things, sometimes we just snuggle, sometimes I tell them go play with each other. They are part of the family. And yes, just that simple caring attitude, raising little people just by loving them, is as successful, if not more so, than any curriculum could ever hope to be.

Glad to have you as part of the "care team." We need more like you
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:54 AM
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I LOVE your post!

I came into this field through a bachelor's degree and experience working in a preschool. Now I do family child care. The more I learn about child development, the more I move away from an "education" model and towards a "care" model. I too love John Holt and Vivian Gussin Paley.

I actually think that most of the early childhood "learning activities" that you see in preschool settings actually get in the way of real learning.

As a preschool teacher, I was told to speak to children in forced, unnatural ways to improve literacy or boost comprehension or whatever. "Oh, Billy, you are eating CIRCLE shaped crackers. Sally has a RECTANGLE shaped sandwich." Ugh. And we wonder why some kids grow to have poor social skills. Whatever happened to real conversation, not contrived around a theme or secretly trying to teach shape recognition?

There is so much pressure to follow these practices, though. Parents want to see cutesy crafts sent home in their kids backpacks. They are under social pressure to have their 2-year-olds recognizing letters and numbers and colors. So we are expected to quiz them.

Get this... my 18-month old son was playing at the train table and picked up two trains, one green and one black. I watched as he looked at the black one and said "Black." And then he looked at the green one and said, "Neen." I smiled and stayed out of it, as I'm trying to do more and more these days. My husband saw, and was excited, and said, "Wow! What one is the black one???" (hoping he'd name it again). My son just stared at him, put down the trains, and walked away. I think kids dislike being put on the spot to perform just like we would as adults. What if my son was in a classroom setting and a teacher was asking him questions like this, and he was responding in the same way by not answering or walking away? I think it would be assumed that he didn't know his colors when clearly he does, but he just doesn't want to perform.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:01 PM
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*** I think many of us were providing these "services" before the buzz words started equating to Federal dollar$ for our States. We were under the umbrella of Human Resouces, but life changed when they moved us under the Dept. of Education.

It all goes in a cycle, don't like the way it is going? Wait 3 more years... it will change.

I love spending time with the kids, not the hype... they inspire my days.

Back in the day the Kindergarten teachers would give us (licensed childcare providers in their district) a list of things they wanted the kids to know before coming to their class. THAT is what we worked toward, if we hit a road block we could write the teacher and set up a meeting. They used to have time for that and seemed to like it... I miss those days and the relationships that formed locally.

Now my classes are "death by power point" and geared toward large centers. Very little of it applies to FCC.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by preschoolteacher View Post
I LOVE your post!

I came into this field through a bachelor's degree and experience working in a preschool. Now I do family child care. The more I learn about child development, the more I move away from an "education" model and towards a "care" model.
Same here. I have an AS in child development and came from a center background (worked in a center for 14 years before opening my fcc) where we had all these educational activities that we were required to do. When I opened my fcc, I was still in the center mindset. I often went back and forth between having a more home like environment or preschool environment. And as time went/goes on, I'm moving more towards the "care" model. I do have 3 out of 5 stars through our STARS program and was thinking of trying for a 4, but am quickly moving away from that. I'm happy to be where I am at.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Leanna View Post
The "stars" thread got me thinking...

We often have debates on here regarding care for young children vs. education for young children. Often these debates get boiled down to those providers with degrees or a lot of coursework in early childhood education to support “education” while those providers who have come into the field through other channels to support “care.” (I know there are exceptions to this…read on because that really isn’t the point, just a note I am making). This debate gets discussed in all kinds of ways, even in how we refer to ourselves (teacher, baby-sitter, provider, etc.)

I personally chose this career at as a teenager. I was lucky enough to get my Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. I student taught at our college’s lab preschool, did many field placements, and worked at centers and Head Start before becoming licensed as a provider 6 years ago. I am a member of my local child care RR and the NAEYC. I read studies and journal articles often. Some of my favorite authors are John Holt and Vivian Gussin Paley. I get very upset when this field is portrayed in a negative light and even more upset when a fellow provider does something to bring this on the profession. I am all about professionalizing the field and promoting high-quality child care.

However, in our quest to defend family child care, I think we often divide exactly where we should be coming together. In all of my years of schooling under experts in the field of early childhood I have to say that one of the most important things I learned (possibly THE most important) is that high quality child care is education.

Read that line again...high quality child care is, in itself, education. Early childhood educations is not some mysterious thing that can only be carried out by some special individuals. It is NOT worksheets and crafts and themes. It isn’t even activities and field trips and carefully selected toys. It is CARE. Children grow and learn and prosper (and thus become ready not just for Kindergarten but for LIFE) through high quality care. It is holding a baby while giving her a bottle. “Wow, you are hungry!” you say as the baby gulps down her milk. It is changing a fussy toddlers diaper and engaging him in conversation so he is more cooperative. It is a lot of hand-washing (some sing a song, some pretend their hands are animals, some do an assembly line - either way the child learns how, and when, and why to wash). It is making sure every child is safe and healthy. It is feeding healthy foods. It is proper, age appropriate -discipline (which is part of being safe and healthy). It is Derek learning empathy when Katie falls and scrapes her knee and you comfort her with hugs and soothing words. Next time someone falls down Derek is the first one to ask if he is ok and helping him up. It is honoring each child’s family and home and knowing that no matter what those are the people most special to him. It is watching them play with lots of open ended toys and their language and imaginations blossom and fly. It is a provider witting with four or six kids on a rainy afternoon and watching Mary Poppins (gasp!). It is baking cookies together on Sam’s birthday (or just because). It is the nursery rhymes and lullabyes that our moms and grandma’s taught us. It is loving hands, warm hearts, and positive attention and supervision at the right times.


?????What??? What about curriculum? What about planning activities? What about XY&Z? What about it? Curriculum is fine….but what are the goals? Are the goals that the child will be a curious, imaginative, eager, life-long learner with positive social skills? Yes? Ok great! Or are the goals to learn shapes, colors, letters, and counting? Boo. News flash to all….kids will learn all of that through high quality care! You don’t need worksheets or letter of the week or to verbally quiz them during free play (“What color is your block?). Activities are great if they are meaningful and not contrived (and optional for the child). Planning a week-long study on bears just because you know a bear-song and there are some really cute bear crafts on pinterest?...boo again.

As we continue our day, let’s keep this in mind. We, daycare providers, child care providers, and baby-sitters, lets agree on this one thing. Let’s agree to care for the little ones and let everything else fall into place.


This is me giving you a standing Ovation. The best emoticon I could find for the job...
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
*** I think many of us were providing these "services" before the buzz words started equating to Federal dollar$ for our States. We were under the umbrella of Human Resouces, but life changed when they moved us under the Dept. of Education.

It all goes in a cycle, don't like the way it is going? Wait 3 more years... it will change.

I love spending time with the kids, not the hype... they inspire my days.

Back in the day the Kindergarten teachers would give us (licensed childcare providers in their district) a list of things they wanted the kids to know before coming to their class. THAT is what we worked toward, if we hit a road block we could write the teacher and set up a meeting. They used to have time for that and seemed to like it... I miss those days and the relationships that formed locally.

Now my classes are "death by power point" and geared toward large centers. Very little of it applies to FCC.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:02 PM
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Thank you for taking the time to write this. It was wonderful and just what I needed to read!!!
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:41 PM
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Yes yes a thousand times YES! You said it so well and I agree with it all. We do teach them every day, casually, on their playing field. It's flexible and fun. Not rigid. I tried a very focused curriculum once, it didn't work. I stressed out so much making sure we did it the way we were supposed to. The kids had fun with parts of it but they have fun the way I'm doing it now. Difference is we giggle and laugh, hug and cuddle, do things when we feel like doing them, not when a program tells us to.
Honestly, kids learn their colors, numbers, letters, etc. They learn lots and lots because their brains are like little sponges. But we don't need to approach caring for children as if we were all schools. The most important thing a young child can learn is that they are loved, safe, secure with the people they're with. If you spend time with them by playing, reading(which I think is hands-down the best thing you can do with a child), watching bugs, whatever they want to do and you let them know you really want to be doing this right now with them...that's worth so much more than teaching them to read by the time they're 2.
You're teaching them respect for others and for themselves, love for others and for themselves, compassion, encouraging their natural curiosity to grow.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:02 PM
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Thank you. I too, needed to hear what you said.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:03 PM
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I absolutely love this post!!! I too have a degree in ECE and when I first started out I thought being the highest rated FCC was the most important thing. I pretty much turned my home into the perfect daycare center. I lasted 4 years doing things this way and became so burned out I quit and went into a completely different field.

About 6 months ago, I got back into FCC. It wasn't planned but it just sort of happened and this time around my focus is more on playing and having fun with the kids and less and less about how my "center" looks. I don't care how many math or science toys I have out because honestly the kids don't care and neither do the parents. What the kids want is someone who they can sit on their lap and be told a silly story and the parents want someone that they can trust to care for their child while they are at work.

Thank you so much for posting this! It made me feel great to see others share this same view.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:43 AM
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I love it! I love it! I love it! I totally agree!
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:12 AM
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Omigosh! So well said and so enlightening. This is basically the way I do things but have been having a HUGE sense of guilt about not doing specific, structured "curriculum". And my state' regulations reguire you to provide curriculum.

"The licensee must provide a well-balanced curriculum of specific, planned
learning experiences that support the social, emotional, physical, intellectual and language development of all children."

Groan.

When my licensor visits she always asks what I am doing regarding that. When I say I use XYZ curriculum she is happy. But I find the whole forced "education" thing disconcerting. I think very young children should be allowed to be very young children and should set their pace. If they are interested in learning about something, they will let you know. They will be forced to spend a good chunk of their lives in school. I see no need to push it on a 2 year old.

I also have issue with the fact that our state changed our title from provider to educator. I do not have a degree in education. I do have a bachelor's degree in psychology and an RN nursing degree. However, in my mind the word educator takes the warmth out of what is special about family child care. I much preferred the word provider.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:01 AM
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Omigosh! So well said and so enlightening. This is basically the way I do things but have been having a HUGE sense of guilt about not doing specific, structured "curriculum". And my state' regulations reguire you to provide curriculum.

"The licensee must provide a well-balanced curriculum of specific, planned
learning experiences that support the social, emotional, physical, intellectual and language development of all children."

Groan.

When my licensor visits she always asks what I am doing regarding that. When I say I use XYZ curriculum she is happy. But I find the whole forced "education" thing disconcerting. I think very young children should be allowed to be very young children and should set their pace. If they are interested in learning about something, they will let you know. They will be forced to spend a good chunk of their lives in school. I see no need to push it on a 2 year old.

I also have issue with the fact that our state changed our title from provider to educator. I do not have a degree in education. I do have a bachelor's degree in psychology and an RN nursing degree. However, in my mind the word educator takes the warmth out of what is special about family child care. I much preferred the word provider.
Would a portfolio of activities be enough evidence?

You could take pictures of the kids playing, doing art, and when they are involved in a (few) adult led activities, and put them in a photo album. When licensing asks, you have evidence, but not necessarily xyz curriculum. You can answer "I used creative curriculum", because that's what it essentially is.

I take pictures all the time and put them on my FB page. My DCP's love it, and all their grandparents and uncles and aunts are followers or friends, so they can either see my pics or parents can share them. I love when Grandma in Southern Illinois comments about how big her girl is getting. It makes me happy to be able to give that to their extended family.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:14 AM
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Would a portfolio of activities be enough evidence?

You could take pictures of the kids playing, doing art, and when they are involved in a (few) adult led activities, and put them in a photo album. When licensing asks, you have evidence, but not necessarily xyz curriculum. You can answer "I used creative curriculum", because that's what it essentially is.

I take pictures all the time and put them on my FB page. My DCP's love it, and all their grandparents and uncles and aunts are followers or friends, so they can either see my pics or parents can share them. I love when Grandma in Southern Illinois comments about how big her girl is getting. It makes me happy to be able to give that to their extended family.
Our licensing accepts a simple calendar as well for representation of curriculum. I have a list of themes for each month I choose from. The calendar just proves to the state you are doing things with the kids. I think they just need a paper-trail and this can be as simple or difficult as the provider wants it to be.
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:39 PM
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I also have a bachelors degree in Nutrition and working towards a AA in Child development and the more I learn the more it is clear that young children learn through play. I also have a 2 year old and he is developmentally on par with any other 2 year old and I never really sat him down with flashcards or make him do anything he wasn't interested in doing. The experience with him made it so clear that children will learn what they need to learn as long as they are being loved and cared for. As long as we are genuine with the time we spend with them.
The ONLY thing is that in this business, the parents take a different stance. They want to see their children are learning their ABCs and 123s, they want a curriculum. They want know and see that their children are learning at all times. In in our perspective playing is learning and its hard to translate that as learning to parents. In this profession, we have to cater to the parents as well and if we just tell them we let them play and that's how they learn, it would sound like we are not really doing our job and winging it.
So in this situation, how can we satisfy the parents who are more academically driven and do what we feel is best for the children at the same time?
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:51 PM
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Well I don't have any degree. I skipped that to marry my wonderful abusive ex husband who promised me I would get to go to college. Blah blah. But I am an experienced mom and grandmother who raised two children as different as night and day. One was easy the other well she was so hard it's a wonder I didn't give up some days! We got through all that she is an awesome tenth grader starting college next year yay!

But I think as you said quality care is a mix of things. Sure someone with a degree may have experienced things during their learning that I have not. But at the end of the day we can both teach. I think the important part of "early childhood education" is fun. If we can't find ways to make learning fun, guess what? They will ignore us lol.

Sometimes I wonder if I am getting it right. Yesterday school released early (darn weather again), and my two school agers have to be kept occupied or they will rip my house apart. So we made banana muffins for snack. They did the measuring and mixing and such. It is supposed to teach math and I again questioned myself. I wondered I am not saying that 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup makes a half cup. When they asked about the baking powder being flour I said no, told them what it was and we had to have it so they would rise. I didn't explain how baking powder works. So they went home and I felt like I blew it. But then I thought "no I didn't they don't get to cook at home, somehow they are learning".

So I think that is part of the thing we have to somehow accept that we are doing it right no matter how we do it.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Thriftylady View Post
Well I don't have any degree. I skipped that to marry my wonderful abusive ex husband who promised me I would get to go to college. Blah blah. But I am an experienced mom and grandmother who raised two children as different as night and day. One was easy the other well she was so hard it's a wonder I didn't give up some days! We got through all that she is an awesome tenth grader starting college next year yay!

But I think as you said quality care is a mix of things. Sure someone with a degree may have experienced things during their learning that I have not. But at the end of the day we can both teach. I think the important part of "early childhood education" is fun. If we can't find ways to make learning fun, guess what? They will ignore us lol.

Sometimes I wonder if I am getting it right. Yesterday school released early (darn weather again), and my two school agers have to be kept occupied or they will rip my house apart. So we made banana muffins for snack. They did the measuring and mixing and such. It is supposed to teach math and I again questioned myself. I wondered I am not saying that 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup makes a half cup. When they asked about the baking powder being flour I said no, told them what it was and we had to have it so they would rise. I didn't explain how baking powder works. So they went home and I felt like I blew it. But then I thought "no I didn't they don't get to cook at home, somehow they are learning".

So I think that is part of the thing we have to somehow accept that we are doing it right no matter how we do it.
I think as long as you are exposing them to new experiences, you didn't blow it. Not only are you teaching them by allowing them to help in the kitchen (measuring, mixing, how matter changes, engaging their senses and ability to follow directions and steps) you are building a relationship with them and I am sure making them feel loved and cared for. They will likely remember more about how you made them feel during the activity then what the actual activity was.

Besides, they aren't going to tell their family/friends "I learned what baking powder is!" they are going to tell their family/friends "I made muffins and then got to eat them - they were SO good!"
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:30 AM
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I'm so glad this resurfaced. I'm going to tweak it and add to my policies. Thanks!!

I detest that families are being forced to believe their children(little more than babies) have to have academics in their lives before they learn how to get along, how to be compassionate, how to just sit and 'read' a book or look at the sky, play in the dirt. Kids need down time to reflect, look inside themselves, watch, pretend.

I have a 4 yo dcg who will be attending all day prek next year. I don't get that at all. They used to take steps each year to acclimate to full days. This particular child is so under-aged in her emotional skills I wonder how she will fare.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:33 AM
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How did I miss this post, this is a great one!

I totally agree too! So perfectly put

I like teaching numbers, letters, colors.....but only when they are ready and eager to learn it all, and only in the form of play, not because I feel pressured by licensing, Frameworks Guidelines for school, or even by parents.

I've been taught and believe that children will naturally learn when they are emotionally and socially ready.

To me it makes perfect sense that a provider/educator is the first stepping stone to care and nurture children, guiding them in social & emotional growth first, to prepare them for easier learning of academics in the future.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:01 AM
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I like the post! I have to say, around here, we don't consider curriculum for ECE to be teaching letters, numbers and colors. We consider curriculum to be supporting development in the domains- Social, physical, etc. We plan our curriculum around how an activity will provide opportunities for development - for example, making muffins, we might plan a goal for developing socially: Children will learn to respect the rights of others by sharing space, sharing materials, taking turns, etc.

That is considered the curriculum.

We aren't asked to say what packaged curriculum we would use or if we are teaching academics. In any ECE circles locally, it is considered developmentally inappropriate and not good practice to try to teach Kindergarten or first grade to preschoolers and toddlers. The whole curriculum is helping children explore, observe and develop positively.

All of that can be done in a "care" model. And often is. It's just not written out in a lesson plan book to buy online. It sounds like perfectly good, developmentally appropriate fccs are adding in academic "curriculum"- worksheets, themes, etc... to the detriment of the program (and the children in their care)! If your licensing agency requires a curriculum- do it in an appropriate way. Just write down the great, quality lessons you are providing without bringing academics into the mix. My 35 cents.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:51 PM
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I don't think it truly matters how we define education. I think we can use a broad brush and say we are educating with every action we do in the course of care and call ourselves teachers.

What matters is what the customer thinks is education and what they will pay for it.

I think if you polled today's parent they would tell you full on that education is reading, writing, math, and possibly science. What they want is their kid to read words, write letters, numbers, and words. They want PROOF that their child is being taught to read, write, and do math... math being counting and addition and subtraction.

They don't give a flip what we think is education. They want to see and show others their kid can read, write, and do math.... the younger the better.

They like the art stuff but they really want the daycare to give their kid the experience of messy stuff they don't want to do at home. They want their kid to paint first and then cut, paste, glitter etc. They want their kid to do fun messy stuff so they don't have to do it at home.

We can say words about our every interaction and everything in our environment being a part of education but that's not of interest to them.

Can Johnny read books so they can tape and put it up on Facebook?

Can Johnny write his upper and lower case letters so they can photograph it and put it up on Facebook?

Does Johnny come home with big painting projects or messy to do crafts so they can photograph and put up on Facebook?

Can Johnny show proof he can count, write his numbers, and do addition and subtraction so they can tape and put on Facebook?

THAT'S what they think is education.... nothing less.

They want that but what they REALLY want is it for free and not have to do anything but put it up on Facebook.
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
I don't think it truly matters how we define education. I think we can use a broad brush and say we are educating with every action we do in the course of care and call ourselves teachers.

What matters is what the customer thinks is education and what they will pay for it.

I think if you polled today's parent they would tell you full on that education is reading, writing, math, and possibly science. What they want is their kid to read words, write letters, numbers, and words. They want PROOF that their child is being taught to read, write, and do math... math being counting and addition and subtraction.

They don't give a flip what we think is education. They want to see and show others their kid can read, write, and do math.... the younger the better.

They like the art stuff but they really want the daycare to give their kid the experience of messy stuff they don't want to do at home. They want their kid to paint first and then cut, paste, glitter etc. They want their kid to do fun messy stuff so they don't have to do it at home.

We can say words about our every interaction and everything in our environment being a part of education but that's not of interest to them.

Can Johnny read books so they can tape and put it up on Facebook?

Can Johnny write his upper and lower case letters so they can photograph it and put it up on Facebook?

Does Johnny come home with big painting projects or messy to do crafts so they can photograph and put up on Facebook?

Can Johnny show proof he can count, write his numbers, and do addition and subtraction so they can tape and put on Facebook?

THAT'S what they think is education.... nothing less.

They want that but what they REALLY want is it for free and not have to do anything but put it up on Facebook.
The bold is my current DCM who says "oh they love to cook but I keep them out of the kitchen". She loves that I let them do it. The hardest part of the cooking is they all want to do everything so it is a ton of working keeping it "fair" lol. I don't think parents understand that part either, it is real work to teach one child, much less a group even if the group is small.
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:23 PM
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I really needed to hear this!!! I always feel like Im not giving these kids enough...but I DO!! I have a parent (teacher) whos dd just turned 4 in nov and had her tested for kinder already?? She brought the assesment test to me and pointed out the things I need to work on with her.... When did I ever say I was a Kindergarten prep class??? Im not, I am a family childcare provider, Ill work on ABCS and 123, color pichures, read lots of books, some crafts but really these kids just want to play, and be loved and eat... just like what you have said these kids can and WILL learn through play, learn to use their imaginations and learn life lessons! I feel so much pressure for this child to learn, and really she is not even close to ready, but Im done beating myself up!! So Thank you
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by jgcp View Post

I really needed to hear this!!! I always feel like Im not giving these kids enough...but I DO!! I have a parent (teacher) whos dd just turned 4 in nov and had her tested for kinder already?? She brought the assesment test to me and pointed out the things I need to work on with her.... When did I ever say I was a Kindergarten prep class??? Im not, I am a family childcare provider, Ill work on ABCS and 123, color pichures, read lots of books, some crafts but really these kids just want to play, and be loved and eat... just like what you have said these kids can and WILL learn through play, learn to use their imaginations and learn life lessons! I feel so much pressure for this child to learn, and really she is not even close to ready, but Im done beating myself up!! So Thank you
Parents should be their child's first teacher.

Your DCP (no matter her profession) needs to teach her child what SHE wants her child to know/do and not put that on you.

That is NOT my job. I AM a teacher but don't teach for a living.

I provide care for a living and if the kids learn while I am caring for them, that's great but I am not their teacher and I don't allow parents to TELL me what I will and won't teach their child.

Until they pay me a fee that equals what they want (outcome) they aren't going to get any Facebook worthy posts from me.
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Old 03-08-2015, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Parents should be their child's first teacher.

Your DCP (no matter her profession) needs to teach her child what SHE wants her child to know/do and not put that on you.

That is NOT my job. I AM a teacher but don't teach for a living.

I provide care for a living and if the kids learn while I am caring for them, that's great but I am not their teacher and I don't allow parents to TELL me what I will and won't teach their child.

Until they pay me a fee that equals what they want (outcome) they aren't going to get any Facebook worthy posts from me.
So true! And my dcps realize this also. It's the way I raised my own kids. And if little Johnny is reading at age 3, while everybody's thinking ooh and aah, all the other kids catch up by K-1st grade anyways. So while Little Johnny is being grilled on words, he's missing out on all the other stuff he should be doing. Unless of course Lil J is really a child prodigy, in which case he'll probably graduate college at 12.

Whatever happened to raising a normal, loving, kind, compassionate, respectful, curious child?
It's a well-known fact(in my world anyways) that reading to your child is, hands down, THE best thing you can do. He will develop the interest to find out all about his world.
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:44 AM
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I have my BA in Child Development and Human Services and have been in this field for over 18 years. I worked in center based programs up until about 8 years ago and then switched to family childcare. I LOVE LOVE LOVE what family childcare has to offer kids, families, and providers. I truly feel that it is the healthiest place for young children to learn and grow- HOME!

Care and open ended free play are the heart and soul of what I do each day and takes up 95% of our days together. This time commitment toward living and carrying out the everyday activities of home life (folding laundry, cooking, cleaning, caring for the garden, caring for animals etc) is very important for young kids to observe and participate in on a regular basis.

The other 5% of my day is spent engaging the children in "preschool". Not only that, but I use a pre-packaged curriculum (gasp!). The kids pick up all the skills they need through play and everyday care experiences. BUT I still choose to have a very small percentage of my day made up of preschool activities. WHY?
1) Marketing Tool- Parents are looking for this. I run a business, and I provide a service that parents want.
2) It is FUN- There is no Drill and Kill. There are no worksheets. There is no following the teacher guide to the tee (that would take an hour or more which is WAY too much). I utilize the songs, hands on manipulatives, and art materials and make them work for me and my kiddos. The kids, parents, and I enjoy the process and the product (GASP ) And yes, you can check out my cutesy facebook page too.
3) Adds to the overall richness of my program - Overall, I am mostly impressed by the pre-packaged curriculum I use for 5% of my day. I leave the games and materials out for the kids to use on their own (which is where most of the learning happens anyway). But they have ideas that do provide practice for essential life/school skills (cutting, gluing, coloring, painting, matching, patterns, sequencing etc) that I prefer to have outlined in a logical and well laid out manner. Can these skills be learned without a curriculum? OF COURSE!

This brings me to my point (as well as what I think the OP was getting at). We all are caregivers, teachers, business owners. We each carry out those tasks in our own unique ways. THIS IS THE BEAUTY OF IT! Follow your heart. Do what works for you and your kiddos! Don't ever change what you do for some external standard (other people, current societal expectations etc...) But also, do not generalize. If someone follows a Care model they can provide a rich and beautiful learning and growing environment for young children (or a crappy one). If someone follows a Education model they can provide a rich and beautiful learning and growing environment for young children (or a crappy one). The same goes for those that mix the two.

Just my 2 Cents
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